Chicken Noodle Soup
This classic Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is nourishing comfort in a bowl! It’s a favorite tried and true MUST HAVE recipe you’ll want to make again and again! It’s healthy, satisfying, warm, cozy, easy, and family friendly. This easy Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is loaded with juicy chunks of chicken, tender carrots, celery and silky egg noodles all swaddled in flavorful chicken broth on your table in 45 minutes and all made in one pot! It’s made with bone-in chicken thighs and chicken stock for extra rich flavor but I’ve also included how to make with rotisserie chicken too – and in the slow cooker! This Best Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is make ahead friendly (tips and tricks included!) stores and reheats beautifully, is freezer friendly and irresistibly delicious!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 20minutes
Cook Time
35minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 20minutes
Cook Time
35minutes
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2lbs bone-in chicken thighsskin removed OR rotisserie chicken – see notes
  • 2tablespoon olive oildivided
  • 1/2tsp EACH salt, pepper
  • 1 1/2cups peeled and sliced carrots1/4 inch thick
  • 1 1/2cups sliced celery3/8 inch thick
  • 1 oniondiced
  • 4-6 garlic clovesminced
  • 10cups chicken stockor low sodium chicken broth -see notes
  • 1 1/2teaspoons chicken bouillonmore or less to taste
  • 1tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1tsp EACH dried oregano, dried basil
  • 1/2teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch red pepper flakesoptional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2cups wide egg noodlesuncooked
Instructions
  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let stand while you prep the vegetables.
  2. Heat one tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Sear chicken until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
  3. Heat one tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in then now empty pot. Add onions, carrots and celery and sauté for 4 minutes scaping up the golden bits on the bottom of the pan; add garlic and sauté one minute.
  4. Add chicken back to the pot. Add chicken stock, bouillon and all seasonings. Cover the soup to bring to a simmer, then displace the lid so it’s partially covering the pot, with about a one-inch opening. Simmer the soup for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until chicken is tender enough to shred.
  5. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred into bite-size pieces once cool enough to handle.
  6. Meanwhile, add the noodles to the soup and bring to a simmer; cook until al dente approximately 5 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken, and heat through, 1-2 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired (if the soup is missing something, it’s probably salt). Stir in additional chicken stock for a less chunky soup.
Recipe Notes

How to Use Rotisserie Chicken

To use Rotisserie chicken, add about 3 cups shredded chicken to the soup after it has been simmering for 10 minutes.  Continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes so the chicken can soak up all the stock flavor.  Stir in the noodles and cook until al dente.

Can I use different noodles?

  • My personal favorite noodles for Chicken Noodle Soup are egg noodles.  Egg noodles are made with a higher proportion of eggs to flour than traditional pasta.  The resulting noodle are softer, fluffier, lighter and almost buttery.
  • Aside from egg noodles, other favorite pastas for homemade Chicken Noodle Soup include rotini pasta, cavapait, fusilli, cellentani or pasta shells.  Some even like to use broken up spaghetti or fettuccine. You will need to cook these pastas longer than egg noodles. 

Tips and Tricks

  • For the juiciest chicken:  this homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe will work chicken breasts or chicken thighs, but for best flavor use bone-in chicken thighs or shredded rotisserie chicken as thighs are far more tender than chicken breast and impart even more flavor to the stock.
  • Chicken stock or broth:  this comes down to personal preference.  Chicken stock will have a richer flavor and chicken broth will taste lighter.  
  • Vegetable size.  chop carrots 1/4” thick and celery 3/8″ thick.  Avoid chopping your vegetables too thin or they can become mushy.
  • Cook noodles al dente: (meaning it has a little bite) to it because it will continue to cook in the hot broth even after you remove it from the heat.  If you don’t overcook the noodles initially, they will not get mushy or soggy when reheated.  
  • Cook pasta separately:  as this Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is written, the pasta cooks in the pot with the veggies.  If you aren’t prepared to babysit your pasta towards the end of cooking and take it off the heat once al dente, then cook your pasta separately and add to individual bowls.  You will also want to cook your pasta separately if you plan on freezing the Chicken Noodle Soup.
  • Customize vegetables:  carrots, onions and celery are classic in Chicken Noodle Soup, – but there’s a lot of flexibility!  You can use whatever veggies you have on hand or mix it up just for fun! Green beans, corn, zucchini, cabbage, spinach, etc. would all be delicious.  Just be aware of veggie cooking times – for example, green beans take longer to cook than peas and cabbage which just takes minutes.
  • Scale up or down:  this homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe can easily be scaled up or down. You can scale down if you don’t have a large family and don’t want leftovers.  If you do love leftovers (raising my hand high), then you will love leftover Chicken Noodle Soup for an easy lunch or dinner!
  • Consistency:  the “chunkiness” of this easy Chicken Noodle Soup is personal preference.  For a less chunky soup, simply add additional stock at the end of cooking.
  • Add additional liquid:  the noodles will absorb the stock as they sit in the soup so you will need to add additional stock if not immediately serving or when reheating.

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

  1. Add seasoned chicken to the bottom of a lightly greased 6 quart or larger slow cooker.  You don’t have to sear the chicken first, but it will add additional flavor.
  2. Top chicken with onion, carrots, celery, garlic, chicken stock and all seasonings; gently stir.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or HIGH for 3-4 hours; until vegetables are tender and chicken is tender enough to shred.
  4. Remove chicken to a cutting board and shred into bite size pieces.  Transfer shredded chicken to slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta al dente separately on the stove.  I do NOT recommend cooking pasta in the slow cooker because it needs to be cooked at a rolling boil in order to not become gummy.  You can cook the pasta al dente at any point on the stove, rinse in cool water and toss with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking, then transfer to an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to stir into soup.  Stir in cooked past and serve!

Prep Ahead

  • Trim chicken: remove the skin from the bone-in chicken thighs and trim off excess fat.  Store chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. 
  • Chop vegetables: chop the vegetables a couple days ahead of time, the night before dinner or just a few hours before cooking then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Measure Spices: It doesn’t take long to measure out the spices, but you can certainly do it beforehand and store the mix in an airtight bag or container. 

How to Freeze

Chicken Noodle Soup freezes very well without the noodles or else they will get mushy.  When you’re ready to serve, simply defrost and add freshly cooked noodles. 

  1. Cook: Cook the easy Chicken Noodle Soup according to recipe directions WITHOUT the noodles.
  2. Cool:Allow Chicken Noodle Soup to cool completely before freezing to preserve the integrity of the ingredients and prevent it from entering the “danger zone.”
  3. Package:  Transfer soup to an airtight freezer safe container or freezer bag.  You can even use sandwich size plastic bags for individual portions.  Squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn and label
  4. Freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  5. Defrost/Reheat. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave, crockpot or stove according to aforementioned instructions, adding cooked noodles.v